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Coffee crazy Melbourne

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6 March 2013 by Luke McCormick

This year Melbourne takes its passion for coffee to new heights with two world-class events and the continuing emergence of new cafes and roasters across the city.

First cab off the rank is the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar running from March 1-17.

Shipping containers, timber pallets, packing crates and tools used to transport coffee, have been used to construct an architecturally designed terrace coffee farm featuring more than 125 coffee plants in the heart of the city at Queensbridge Square, Southbank.

A rotating roster of Melbourne's top baristas, brewing workshops and classes for general public led by big-name specialty cafes and roasteries are just some of the activities designed to inspire visitors to experience the handiwork involved from bean to brew. Don't miss names like 5 Senses, Small Batch, Market Lane Coffee, Seven Seeds and St Ali in the program.

The Melbourne International Coffee Expo, running from 23-26 May, will keep the caffeine pumping through the city's veins - bringing together the World Barista Championships, the World Brewers Cup and the inaugural Global Coffee Review Symposium at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.

Over the course of one weekend the world's leading baristas and Melbourne's leading coffee vendors will come together to educate, inform and share ideas. The event is complemented by peripheral roasting workshops, café tours and opportunities to interact with the best minds in brewing.

Since the first espresso machines landed on Victorian soil in the 50's, the city's reverence for the bean has continued to prosper. The emergence of specialist roasters has contributed to an obsession with new ways of brewing and the origin of coffee beans. Today, it is difficult to turn a corner in central Melbourne's without enjoying the aroma of fresh brews.

The hub of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival this year is the Urban Coffee Farm & Brew Bar - a world-first installation designed by renowned design practice HASSELL. The initiative reinterprets a terraced coffee farm, using shipping containers from Melbourne's own port, timber pallets and packing crates. The design of The Urban Coffee Farm transplants the world's exotic and elusive coffee growing origins to inner city Melbourne with 120 coffee plants growing over an undulating hill to give visitors a glimpse of the story of coffee-from seedling to coffee cup.

A rotating roster of Melbourne's top baristas, brewing workshops and classes for general public led by big-name specialty cafes and roasteries are just some of the activities designed to inspire visitors to experience the handiwork involved from bean to brew.

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